Although it's not unpopular for an addiction later in life, the health effects of substance abuse for those over the age of 65 can be even more dangerous than in younger users.
A fast progressing health issue in the United States is drug and alcohol abuse among the elderly. Drug and alcohol abuse among elderly is, according to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, classified in a couple of general groups: the "late onset" addicts, which is a group that developed the addiction in their older years, and "hardy survivor" which is a term for addicts that have been abusing drug or alcohol for a longer period and have turned 65 in the meantime. There are treatment options available to help you get back on a healthy path, regardless of how old you are or when your addiction started.
People older than 65 are often having inadequate help with their addiction because that issue in elderly is often not thought as a serious and is often no diagnosed.
Causes Of Addiction In Senior Citizens
There are many causes for developing a substance addiction even as a senior citizen. Anything that has a strong emotional impact on a person, like health problems or some life-changing situations can contribute to this.
Drug-abusing behaviour that can cause a full-scale addiction may be triggered by these events. Please call us now on 0800 772 3971 if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction issues later in life and need help finding a treatment program.
Some of the reasons that provoke senior citizens to begin substance abuse are:
Death of spouse, a family member, pet or close friend.
Financial problems or job loss
Relocation to a nursing home
Fights in the family
Health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)
Since senior citizens are increasingly prone to the degrading effects of these substances, drug or alcohol abuse among the elderly is specifically harmful.
Benzodiazepines are probably the most hazardous prescription substances for elderly, even though they are generally used to treat pain, anxiety and sleeping issues. Despite its addicting potency, it is commonly prescribed by doctors to older people. Year after year, the rate of elderly benzos dependencies is steadily increasing.
At 65 our body has diminished its ability to break down drugs and alcohol which contributes to increased susceptibility to their effects. That means that even those senior citizens that aren't addicted are exposing themselves to increased risk if they use drugs or alcohol.
Distinguishing Addiction In The Elderly
Alcohol or substance misuse may actually resemble signs of other medical or mental health illnesses, like diabetes, dementia or depression.
This makes it very simple for physicians who come across an elderly patient to tally reducing psychological or physical health just to "old age."
Signs Of Dependence In Elderly Individuals
There is a decline in their mental health, physical health and personal relationships as people get older. It is very significant to look for some extraordinary signs a senior citizen you care about shows, especially because it can be hard to spot an addiction in the older population.
Drug usage in the elderly can sow itself in signs including:
Erratic sleeping habits
Depression, irritability, sadness,
Unexplained chronic pain
Prefers to be alone often
Lack of personal hygiene
Losing communication with loved ones
Lack of interest in normal activities
The moment dependence is discovered, it is very important to look for a healing base that has particular knowhow functioning with elderly facing dependence.
People over 65 usually don't have enough support that is needed after treatment, so you need to find a specific program that provides case management services in addition to having experience in dealing with elderly addiction. Getting them access to case management services will also enable them to enjoy other resources necessary to their recovery be it medical, psychiatric or relational support.
Senior Citizen Misuse Statistics
Family, friends, care providers and doctors need to stop ignoring the disturbing rate of addictions to numerous substances among people age 65 and older since it really is a thing to worry about.